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Remembering 5 more victims of the coronavirus pandemic

As we are every Friday during this pandemic, we take a moment to honor individuals lost to the coronavirus. Here are stories of five more, including a 22-year-old musician and a 48-year-old Marine Corps reservist.

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  • Judy Woodruff:

    We want to take another moment now to honor a group of individuals who lost their lives to the coronavirus.

    Here are their stories.

    Robert Shackelford dreamed of serving in the Army, but colorblindness forced him to find a different way to serve his country. So, for nearly 30 years, he taught high school American history in Sarasota, Florida. Robert was also a longtime football coach. A fellow coach described him as a detailed and dedicated leader.

    Despite a busy schedule, the 61-year-old always made time for family. He loved mailing cards to his daughter and grandson, and regularly visited his brother Steven, who has disabilities.

    Osanette Hernandez was a curious child and passionate about learning, her father said. Just 22 years old, she had dreamed of becoming a nurse. A shy, but gifted performer, she sang in her church choir and played clarinet in the high school marching band in San Antonio, Texas.

    Osanette was a devoted daughter, and started a business with her mom selling homemade cakes and cookies. She kept baking after her mother passed away last year to support her father and siblings.

    Forty-eight-year-old John Eric Swing was passionate about supporting the Asian-American community. He led efforts in Los Angeles to help residents and businesses through the pandemic. Co-workers said the former Marine Corps Reservist radiated positive energy. A foodie and an outdoorsman, his wife said he was happiest on the beach and when spending time with her and their six children.

    Su Thao was a hero for the Hmong people. After escaping communist Laos, he kept returning to rescue family members, and worked with the CIA on covert operations in the country. When he moved to Iowa in the 1970s, he worked to bring more refugees to the U.S.

    Eventually, he settled in Fresno, California, where he directed documentaries, translated popular films into Hmong and even hosted a radio show. A father to nine, Su was 72 years old.

    Sawarrelita Redmond's suburban Chicago home was never empty. For the last 15 years, the mother of three ran her own day care, where she cared for kids all hours of the day, sometimes free of charge. Sawarrelita, or Nita, born in Mississippi as the 21st child of 22, also took in foster children who were in-between homes.

    She enjoyed playing cards on the weekends with friends, and was described by her daughter Jasmine as uplifting, easy-going and loved. Nita was 52.

    And our thanks to family members for sharing the stories of all these individuals.

    Our hearts go out to you and all those who've lost loved ones in this pandemic.

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